What will provide you with vertigo, frenzy, suspicion, and a touch of blackmail — in 39 steps?The answer is rich and strange: “The Complete Alfred Hitchcock,” a summer series at the Harvard Film Archive that will include all the feature film work of an iconic director whom many consider the best of the 20th century. In a rare touch, the series also will screen nine silent films, recently restored by the British Film Institute.The series, including more than 50 titles, is not in your rear window, but starts Thursday and runs through Sept. 28.Among the treats for series viewers, in a touch of duality that the director would have appreciated, is the chance to see two versions of “Blackmail,” both released in 1929. The first (on screen Saturday) is a silent, the second (on screen July 21) a technical remake, an experimental talkie made on the eve of cinema’s embrace of sound.“The Man Who Knew Too Much” was a film that Hitchcock made twice, in 1934 and 1956. The first version (on screen July 28) stars a young Peter Lorre, who in real life had just fled Nazi Germany. (He plays the villain.) The second version (Sept. 9) stars James Stewart, a master of on-screen anxieties (and a Hitchcock film veteran).Opening the series is “Vertigo” (1958), in which Stewart explores his fears as Scottie Ferguson, a police detective forced into retirement. Hired as a private investigator, the troubled Ferguson is soon at the center of a spiraling nightmare of deceit, desire, and obsession — themes that Hitchcock explored throughout his creative life.“Vertigo” was recently named the greatest film of all time, based on a recent survey by the British Film Institute, bumping aside Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane,” which had held the title for 50 years.The Harvard Film Archive has done summer retrospectives before, including on the directors Joseph Losey, Elia Kazan, and Joseph Mankiewicz, and a series of Paramount films last summer to celebrate the studio’s centennial. A Hitchcock retrospective had been on a short list for retrospective, “but we felt it needed to be big,” said archive programmer David Pendleton, who will introduce “Vertigo.”Being big meant including the restored silent films, which went into distribution as a group only earlier this year. (The so-called Hitchcock 9 is a joint venture of BFI, Rialto Pictures/Studiocanal, and Park Circus/ITV.) Being big also means screening the vast Hitchcock canon. Only one offshoot film is missing from the Harvard series: the 1931 German-language version of the 1930 feature “Murder!,” filmed with a separate cast. The archive is still looking for a print.“There’s a core group of films that everyone has seen,” said Pendleton, naming “Psycho” (1960) and “Rear Window” (1954) as among them. “But there is a whole other layer of Hitchcock films that really deserve to be seen on the big screen.” Among those, he said, are “The 39 Steps” (1935) and “Suspicion” (1941). These Hitchcock classics are easily available on DVD, but seldom in theaters.Especially rare on the big screen are Hitchcock’s silent films, vehicles “in which you see a director finding his voice,” said Pendleton. There are screwball comedies and intimations of the darker films for which the director would become famous.Playing second in the series on Friday is the expressionistic silent “The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog” (1926), with live piano accompaniment by Martin Marks. (Each of the silent films will feature live piano.) In “The Lodger,” a serial killer who attacks young blondes is at large. There is action, deceit, a mysterious stranger, a runaway mob, and a near-fatal case of mistaken identity. The film has been called Hitchcock’s first thriller.For Harvard, the real thriller may be the series itself.Films are screened at the Harvard Film Archive in the Carpenter Center, 24 Quincy St. Harvard students are admitted free. Harvard faculty and staff, along with seniors and non-Harvard students, pay a $7 admission. All others pay $9.
January 26, 2018 Governor Wolf to Enlist Non-Partisan Mathematician to Evaluate Fairness of Redistricting Maps SHARE Email Facebook Twitter National Issues, Press Release, Redistricting, Voting & Elections Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf today announced he will enlist a non-partisan mathematician, Moon Duchin, Ph.D. an Associate Professor of Mathematics from Tufts University, to provide him guidance on evaluating redistricting maps for fairness. Governor Wolf has made clear since the Supreme Court ruled the map unconstitutional that he saw this as an opportunity to eliminate partisan gerrymandering and deliver the people of Pennsylvania a fair Congressional map.“Moon Duchin has been a leader in applying mathematics, geometry, and analytics to evaluate redistricted maps and work to eliminate extreme partisan gerrymandering,” Governor Wolf said. “The people of Pennsylvania are tired of partisan games and gridlock – made worse by gerrymandering – and it is my mission to reverse the black-eye of having some of the worst gerrymandering in the country. I am open and willing to work with the General Assembly but I will not accept an unfair map and enlisting a non-partisan expert is essential to ensure that is possible.”Biography:Moon Duchin is an Associate Professor of mathematics at Tufts University and serves as director of Tufts’ interdisciplinary Science, Technology, and Society program. Her mathematical research is in geometric group theory, low-dimensional topology, and dynamics. She is also one of the leaders of the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group, a Tisch College-supported project that focuses mathematical attention on issues of electoral redistricting.Duchin’s research looks at the metric geometry of groups and surfaces, often by zooming out to the large scale picture. Lately she has focused on geometric counting problems, in the vein of the classic Gauss circle problem, which asks how many integer points in the plane are contained in a disk of radius r. Her graduate training was in low-dimensional topology and ergodic theory, focusing on an area called Teichmüller theory, where the object of interest is a parameter space for geometric structures on surfaces.Duchin has also worked and lectured on issues in the history, philosophy, and cultural studies of math and science, such as the role of intuition and the nature and impact of ideas about genius. She is involved in a range of educational projects in mathematics: she is a veteran visitor at the Canada/USA Mathcamp for talented high school students, has worked with middle school teachers in Chicago Public Schools, developed inquiry-based coursework for future elementary school teachers at the University of Michigan, and briefly partnered with the Poincaré Institute for Mathematics Education at Tufts.Education:PhD in Mathematics, University of Chicago, 2005MS in Mathematics, University of Chicago, 1999BA in Mathematics and Women’s Studies, Harvard University, 1998Curriculum Vitae: Moon Duchin CV.pdf read more
NZ Herald 10 February 2020Family First Comment: Superb words from our board member Bruce Logan“An inspirational national anthem is like good wine, it must have provenance, time to be savoured and loved, connecting the past to the present with hope for the future. It must be spiritually and morally coherent, transcending the limitations of fashionable ideology. Our present anthem fulfils all of these because it was written with genuine affection during a period of national and cultural coherence…In the contemporary culture seduced by the cult of diversity and inclusion, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to write an anthem to echo that rich patriotic oneness. The frenetic search for elusive Kiwi values would ricochet in a cacophony of disparate voices pretending to understand each other. At best, we would have sentimental codswallop disguised as tolerance in a frantic swelling of virtue signalling.”Maybe the call to change the national anthem is well-meaning. Nevertheless, it is little more than an exercise in “chronological snobbery”, a mindset that would spin everything off itself; today should govern yesterday.An inspirational national anthem is like good wine, it must have provenance, time to be savoured and loved, connecting the past to the present with hope for the future. It must be spiritually and morally coherent, transcending the limitations of fashionable ideology.Our present anthem fulfils all of these because it was written with genuine affection during a period of national and cultural coherence.The call to change the anthem, either in part or in whole, on the grounds that it’s out of date misunderstands its function. God defend New Zealand is not just sung by living voices on one particular day, it is also a reverberation of the voices who have passed on. It is the distillation of the poignant love of one’s nation by encouraging a humble and proper patriotism.In the contemporary culture seduced by the cult of diversity and inclusion, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to write an anthem to echo that rich patriotic oneness. The frenetic search for elusive Kiwi values would ricochet in a cacophony of disparate voices pretending to understand each other. At best, we would have sentimental codswallop disguised as tolerance in a frantic swelling of virtue signalling.An anthem is a consequence of having a shared and confident vision of nationhood. For decades, indeed for much of my lifetime, New Zealand has been divesting itself of that vision. The foundational, biblical message of humility, grace, sacrificial love and the need for forgiveness is being rejected without replacement. It isn’t surprising some people are embarrassed.The nuanced insights and sensitivities may well be too heroic and biblical for the embarrassed, but we have not discovered a superior story that would give our nation sufficient meaning for another anthem. We do not have an alternative tradition, history or a set of beliefs that would bring us together. All the waffle about diversity, inclusion and tolerance is mere deconstruction; a provisional parasite thinking it has a life of its own.The “triple star”, “shafts of war” and “entreat” are not meaningless to immigrants with limited English. Indeed many, particularly those who have escaped from totalitarian regimes, will be able to sing with renewed emotional power as they enjoy their new freedom and its foundations.Those New Zealanders under 30 could benefit greatly from coming to terms with the anthem’s connection to the past. They might discover that God defend New Zealand is also a salutary teacher.For example, a much more useful thing to do in schools than labouring children with the anxieties of climate change would be to teach something of the anthem’s history, language, sensitivities and nuance. At the very least it might help them understand the poignant difference between the aspirations of our nation and practical outworking of its history.Children could be encouraged to ask legitimate questions about their existence as New Zealanders. What does it mean to meet in the “bonds of love”? How is it possible to even think of such a possibility? And, goodness me, who is the God of Nations? The anthem is actually a prayer, we ask God, in the context of genuine humility, to protect our freeland.And anyway, all national anthems are eventually prayers either to the surging vanity of hubris and consequently the worst expressions of nationalism or maybe to nature and the consequent collapse into the sentimentality of pantheism. Perhaps even, rousingly, to the God of War like the Marseillaise, although one suspects that its appeal lies mainly in the stirring romance of Rouget de Lisle’s musical score and the brief and tragic, romantic spirit of the French Revolution.Perhaps the most encouraging news we have regarding our anthem is that a recent NZ Herald poll tells us nearly three-quarters of New Zealanders want to keep it as it is. Hallelujah.• Bruce Logan is a former teacher who, since 2008, has spent New Zealand winters living and writing in Provence.https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12306742Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox. read more
Published on March 19, 2015 at 2:04 pm Contact Phil: [email protected] | @PhilDAbb Facebook Twitter Google+ Jim Boeheim appears to have all the confidence in the world in Mike Hopkins.But no level of assurance the Syracuse head coach puts in his expected heir can guarantee Hopkins will definitely take over when Boeheim retires in three years. The longtime SU head coach just doesn’t have the kind of authority many people believe he does.It’ll be Chancellor Kent Syverud’s call, Boeheim stressed throughout his press conference Thursday morning.“You read so many things and one of them is that I make all of the decisions at Syracuse University,” Boeheim said at the press conference, his first time addressing the media since the NCAA’s report came out on March 6.“I don’t decide who hires, who’s hired at Syracuse University, whether it’s the chancellor or athletic director or compliance officer or the person who I work directly with.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile clearing the air about how much authority he has at SU, Boeheim indirectly mentioned the press conference following the Orange’s regular-season finale against North Carolina State on March 7.Instead of Boeheim representing SU for the media availability, Hopkins came out instead to face reporters. The switch prompted criticism from some who believed Boeheim chose to duck out of the press conference.“I wanted to do the press conference and limit it to basketball, which is always going to bring up ‘I can’t comment on that’ a few times before you leave,” Boeheim said. “… Wouldn’t have been a productive press conference.“I was counseled not to go. I don’t find tremendous fault with that. I find fault with the articles that said I was a coward. Assumption is made, ‘You sent Mike Hopkins out there, you coward.’ I never send anybody out anywhere. If you believe I make all the decisions here, you’re under some delusion.“If I’m told not to do something — that, a press conference — I don’t do it. Because I work for people.”Boeheim said that if he made all the calls at SU, he would’ve decided for the school not to join the Big East and not to leave Manley Field House — a pair of huge decisions in SU’s history that Boeheim admitted he would’ve gotten wrong.He said the lack of a guarantee for Hopkins’ future is not important right now. But as Boeheim looked to the future, he spoke as if Hopkins — his assistant coach of 19 years — will indeed be his successor, as he has for years.“I believe Mike Hopkins will be a great coach,” Boeheim said, “and I fervently hope that he is the coach here. But that’s something the chancellor will decide with the board of trustees, like they decide every major issue that happens at Syracuse University.“And I decide, sometimes, what restaurants my family is going to eat at.” Comments read more